(Records through Wednesday; last week's rankings in parentheses)
1. Bowman Academy (1) 11-2
The Eagles are in Dayton, Ohio for another road trip. These Eagles are like Deadheads. Then, a big trip to Carmel next Saturday to face the defending 4A state champs. This schedule's tougher than Valparaiso University's.
2. Lake Central (2) 9-2
Portage tonight and then Lowell on Tuesday. The second will be better than the first. L.C. hasn't played at home since Dec. 21. Won't be home until the Red Devils roll into town. That will be a good one. For sure.
3. Lowell (3) 9-1
Eight straight wins for the Richie boys and that will all be on the line Saturday as they travel to Griffith. This will be a good test in the Northwest Crossroads Conference and let everyone know who has the best shot against Munster, the top dog.
4. Munster (6) 8-3
After a walk-through against Highland on Thursday, the Mustangs will host Michigan City on Tuesday. Pop the popcorn now and get ready for a big 50-50. This game will be good. Real good. Boyd vs. Hackett.
5. Bishop Noll (4) 7-2
The Warriors were singing Jingle Bells at Marquette last Friday because they gave the hosts a belated Christmas present. Missed free throw. Blown leads. Have a holly, jolly ball game. Want some egg nog?
6. Griffith (10) 8-2
It's time for the Panthers to show their stuff or just play Morton again. Is this team really good? Or are they just a hair above average? Saturday at home against Lowell will tell the tale. Ready. Set. Go.
7. Valparaiso (NR) 7-4
OK, it's officially not a rebuilding year for the Vikings. Valpo has won four in a row, getting it done with some serious in-your-shirt defense and just enough offense. A trip to Michigan City will provide a serious test.
8. LaPorte (8) 8-3
The Slicers weren't quite ready for prime time, falling flat against Lake Central, but they've got plenty of company in that regard. Still may be the best of the rest. Chance to show it tonight at Chesterton.
9. Calumet (NR) 7-1
Is this a typo? Are the Warriors really 7-1? A huge game tonight at Lake Station will be big in the Greater South Shore Conference. This is a good team. They just don't know how good yet. They can get a picture of it by 10 tonight.
10. Andrean (NR) 6-3
And speaking of typos, is this for real? After the 59ers lost nine seniors to graduation and got blown out in their first three games they've won six straight, including the Diocesan Dance on Saturday vs. Marquette.
On the bubble: 21 Century (5-2), Chesterton (7-3), Crown Point (4-3), E.C. Central (6-5), Hammond (7-5), Hebron (6-2), Kouts (8-1), Lake Station (5-3), Lew Wallace (4-1), Marquette Catholic (7-4), Michigan City (7-2), Portage (7-5), Roosevelt (5-4), West Side (3-5).